Friday 29 March 2013

The GRRM Step Change

A post sparked by Peter V Brett's recent use of the concept of post-GRRM fantasy.

For many people, indeed for a decent chunk of a whole generation of fantasy authors, George RR Martin's A Game of Thrones was a step change in the genre.

For me and a lot of other authors Martin's work opened our eyes to what felt like a whole different world of what fantasy writing could be, and we've run out into those new territories eager to try to copy not the style or subtance, but the quality.

In my youth when we entered a fantasy land we were expected to suspending our belief about magic and alternate worlds, but not only that. We were expected to enter a sort of mythic / fairy tale world where people weren't quite... real. They didn't feel like actual regular humans, bound by the same fears, worries, ambitions, aches and pains as you and I - they felt more like actors in roles, cogs in a plot engine, icons and ciphers. They were too good, or too evil.

Fantasy had its conventions and we played within them, reader and author exercised a mutual understanding regarding the rules - rather like ancient Greek theatre, or a musical where for no reason the cast can break from the story into a rousing song.

Of course I exaggerate. And this isn't to say that authors didn't weave fascinating and compelling stories within those conventions. The fantasy of the 70s and 80s kept me very happy and some of it was written by writers of surpassing genius. Even so... it was quite definitely 'apart' from the books that really touched me or showed me new things about 'what it's all about' - works of literary fiction, and miles distant from what 99% of the public was reading.

The step I'm talking about may be entirely artificial or demonstrable fact. It may be that in the 90's when I was reading very little fantasy the genre moved smoothly into what it is now. It may be that GRRM is talked of as a step change by so many simply because his success meant that A Game of Thrones was the first book that fantasy exiles actually picked up after their absence, and thus they saw in it a 'sudden' significant difference ... or it may be that he really did raise the bar in one swift move.

Either way, what he did was to present us with real people. I'm not talking about the 'gritty realism' that is of late so hotly debated in some quarters of the interwebs - I'm just talking about the strength of his characterisation, the creation of real people with everyday weaknesses, wants, ambitions, set in a world that feels like it has a genuine past that matters to them, both on the grand and small scales.

What he did drew many people back into the genre, as readers and as writers. His work was both a challenge and an invitation. He showed what fantasy could be. Real people who didn't carry a particular flaw around like an attribute rolled up in a role-playing game, but who were complex, capable of both good and evil, victims of circumstance, heroes of the moment. Heroes in gleaming mail could suffer from corns without it being a joke. That's a big part of his secret - EVERY ONE IS HUMAN - get behind their eyes and nobody is perfect, nobody is worthless.

I don't write anything like George RR Martin. I don't lay claim to any significant portion of his talent. But I do count myself as one of his many inheritors (in this game you can inherit without requiring the other person to stop writing!). And what I inherited was the desire (if not the ability) to put it all on the page. Fantasy no longer feels like an acquired taste, a club where you have to learn the conventions, the forms, what the masks mean, what the short hand is for... fantasy feels real. And I love it.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Oh Brother!

Vote for your favourite of Jorg's road brothers!

I will graph the results as we go.

Say why you like your choice best:

(in the comments or by email/twitter/facebook) in a line or two (no more than 200 words) and you're in for the prize of a signed Emperor of Thorns hardback (to be sent out when they reach me). The more entertaining you are the more chance to win (you can get up to 5 'tickets' in the lottery) - pictures of your favorite are a great way to go - but even 'Rike because he's big' will get you a single ticket!

The Choices:

Brother Gemt:
Some people are born to rub you the wrong way. Brother Gemt was born to rub the world the wrong way.

Brother Maical:
Whatever broke Brother Maical left the outside untouched. He looked as solid and as tough and as sour as the rest of them. Until you asked him a question.
  --- I had a soft spot for brother maical... He lived like an idiot and died like an idiot... And revenge was just toooo sweet! (Joel, 2 tickets)

Brother Gains:
Brother Gains wasn’t the cook because he was good at cooking. He was just bad at everything else.
  --- I enjoyed him a lot. (Tom, 1 ticket)

Brother Jobe:
Every brotherhood has a pecking order. With brothers like mine you don’t want to be at the bottom of that order. You’re liable to get pecked to death. Brother Jobe had just the right mix of whipped cur and rabies to stay alive there.

Brother Grumlow:
Knife-work is a dirty business, yet Brother Grumlow is always clean
  --- I like him because he does his business and then melts back into the shadows. (Tyson, 1 ticket)
  --- Brother least he's clean. And really, there is something impressive about going through all that blood, guts and gore and coming out smelling like flowers. (Nadine, 2 tickets)

 Brother Sim:
Assassination is just murder with a touch more precision. Brother Sim is precise.
  --- because it seems like there's much more story to him, but we'll never know it. (Anna, 1 ticket)

Brother Makin (Sir Makin):
Brother Makin has high ideals. If he kept to them, we would be enemies. If he nursed his failure, we would not be friends.   
  --- Brother Makin. He's broken almost just like Jorg, loyal in his own way. Fun to read and support! (Johann, 2 tickets)
  --- Brother Makin
He's been with Jorg right from the start, refused to leave his side.
Turned bandit, rogue and vagabond but never lost his stride.
He's just the kind of man to wade knee-deep in mud and muck.
Your faith and trust won't be misplaced-- he'll never pass the buck!


Tall and dark with curly locks but two bits shy of gorgeous
Wields a sword, can cut and slice but still not over callous


(Mia, tickets noted on Rike)
  --- I'd say Brother Makin, because I found him to be an interesting character as he almost acts as Jorg's conscience, but at the same time he does horrible things along with the rest of the brothers. He also provides a link to Jorg's past, and his potential future. (Big Z, 3 tickets)
  --- He's a badass. He's loyal. He let "the record show the accused finds amusement in the facts of his crime." (Mark, 2 tickets)
  --- Between his idealism, internal conflict, failings, best efforts, and general baddassery, there's a great deal of depth to the character. (TheSupremeForce, 2 tickets)
  --- because he always thinks and doesn't give a fig about anything other than protecting his ideals along with Jorg (Samuel, 2 tickets)
Brother Kent (Red Kent):
Some said that Red Kent had a black heart, and that might be true, but anyone who had seen him take out a six-strong foot patrol with hatchet and knife would tell you the man had an artist’s soul.
  --- He's not a bad guy, not a good guy, a victim of sur com stance and his own success ( being a natural born killer ) He's a surviver but also loyal. Like Makin he will be with Jorg near the end I'm sure be it good or bad but still covered in blood." A red day". (Jean-Paul, 3 tickets)
  --- Pious as a priest but and artist with a blade - who else believes in God and worry about following the commandments even after they've murdered, stolen and ravaged? None of the other brothers have the such a contrast to their personality either! (Nathaniel, 3 tickets)

Brother Row:
Brother Row you could trust to make a long shot with a short bow. You could trust him to come out of a knife fight with somebody else’s blood on his shirt. You could trust him to lie, to cheat, to steal, and to watch your back. You couldn’t trust his eyes though. He had kind eyes, and you couldn’t trust them.

Brother Kashta (The Nuban):
Whoever made the Nuban must have fashioned him from bedrock. I never knew a man more solid. He held his words close. Few among the Brothers sought his counsel, men upon the road have little use for conscience, and although he never judged, the Nuban carried judgement with him.
  --- Brother Kashta, because he is... was a big one! (Allzweck, 1 ticket)
  ---The Nuban - also because crossbows are cool. Nuff said (Alicia B, 1 ticket)
  --- Brother Kashta for sure. Big strong quiet badass that dispenses street justice and doesn't mess around. (Jaack, 2 tickets)
  --- The Nuban. He's badass and smart and knows who's bad news. He's perhaps the most sympathetic of the brothers; it's clear he lives by a code, but he doesn't expect others to live to the same standards he holds himself. (Chilari, 2 tickets)
  --- The Nuban. Speak softly and carry a big crossbow. (Kurt, 2 tickets).
  --- He may have been the brother of conscience, but that didn't make him good. Honest men don't have to be good. When he spoke, you listened, even if you didn't like what he had to say. (Alicia, 2 tickets)
  --- Deep, silent, loyal and powerful. Surely one with the power to travel the river styx unabated (Anon, 1 ticket)
  --- he went after the Necromancer while everyone else was dealing with those weak skeletons. Also out of all the road brothers he seemed like the one who was less "bad" if thay makes sense (Brandon, 2 tickets)

Brother Rike (Little Rikey):
Most men have at least one redeeming feature. Finding one for Brother Rike requires a stretch. Is ‘big’ a redeeming feature?
  --- Brother Rike. The most bad ass. (Anirudh, 1 ticket)

I like heads on a spike
That's why the Brother Rike I like.
He'll breach a castle with a moat
From folks inside he'll make a coat.
His list is long of those he's slain,
He revels in inflicting pain.
If Rike you see, go up a tree,
Go here, go there, but please do flee!

You cannot floor him with some rocks.
You cannot kill him with the pox.
You cannot spook him with some louse.
You cannot scare him with a spouse.
You cannot jolt him fair and square.
Say! You can't daunt him if you dare!

I do so like
heads on a spike
Thank you!
Thank you,
Brother Rike!  
(Mia, 4 tickets)
  --- He could drown the world in his spit. (Wiramu, 1 ticket)
  --- he makes the story even more interesting for me with his not too smart common sense and hack and slash approach at most things. He is like the big killing tool which Jorg uses for his own gains, which makes sense as Jorg is a very smart lad. Though I also like that Rikey has that a fear factor and that even Jorg I believe might be a little scared of him. (Richard, 3 tickets)
Brother Burlow (Fat Burlow):
Everyone likes to eat. One man marches on his stomach as much as an army does. Only Fat Burlow didn’t much take to marching, and took too much to munching. And some of the Brothers were apt to hold that against a man. Still, I had more time for old Burlow than I did for most of my road-kin. Of all of them, save Makin, he was the only one who owned to reading. Of course he bore watching for that. There’s a saying on the road, ‘Never trust a lettered man’.
  --- Brother Burlow. I just ate a pizza and can sympathize with his fault. I would like to figure out what kind of book Brother Burlow would read! (Longasc, 2 tickets)

Brother Liar:
I named him Liar the day I put a knife through his hand. The knife came out, but the name stuck. He was a mean bit of gristle wrapped round bone. Truth might burn his tongue but his looks didn’t lie.

Brother Elban:
The road may go ever on, but we don’t: we wear out, we break. Age makes different things of different men. It will harden some, sharpen them, to a point. Brother Elban has that toughness, like old leather. But in the end the weakness comes and the rot. Perhaps that’s the fear behind his eyes. Like the salmon, he’s been swimming upstream all his life, and he knows there’s no shallows waiting for him, no still waters. Sometimes I think it would be kindness to make a swift end for Elban, before the fear eats up the man he was.
   --- Brother Elban, because I'm firtht... (Davieboy, 2 tickets)

Brother Gorgoth:
There are men to walk to the mountain with and then there are men that are the mountain. Gorgoth, though I may not call him brother, was forged from the qualities I lack.
  --- Brother Gorgoth, for so many reasons. As stated, he's essentially the polar opposite of Jorg, so the contrast is nice to see. He's also a giant, post-apocalyptic mutant, and those are always cool. But, perhaps most importantly, he's the Troll King now. I feel there's a more to his story, and I'm hoping for a short story or even a novella somewhere down the road. (Donald, 3 tickets)

Brother Gog:
Skin, bones, and mischief comprise Brother Gog. Monster born and monster bred but there’s little to mark him from Adam save the stippled crimson-on-black of his hide, the dark wells of his eyes, ebony talons on hand and foot, and the thorny projections starting to grow along his spine. Watch him play and run and laugh, and he seems too at ease to be a crack in the world through which all the fires of hell might pour. Watch him burn though, and you will believe it.
  --- Brother Gog, since I loved the volcano subplot and how it expanded my view of the world. (Paul, 2 tickets)
  ---  My favorite was Brother Gog. He was always that innocent, yet ignorant child who looked up to Jorg. He also sparked my favorite quote: "Some people are scared of spiders. I'm afraid of immolation. Also spiders." (Michael, 2 tickets)
  ---  Gog all the way, [spoiler]! (Rody, 1 ticket)
  --- Brother Gog, because he's innocent in his own way and his demon seems to bring out the humanity in Jorg. (Debbie, 2 tickets)
  --- He was a monster by appearance, but was actually pure innocence surrounded by real monsters, his fellow brothers. (Doug, 2 tickets)

Sunday 24 March 2013

These are not the resolutions you're looking for...

So I've been meaning to write this blog for a while but Chuck Wendig went and wrote it while I was cogitating.

The tl:dr version of Chuck's post and this one is that very often the reader doesn't want what they think they want, and that story telling is often all about withholding.

What prompted me to want to blog on the subject was a conversation I had with Peter V Brett about his latest book, The Daylight War which I review HERE.

The tl:dr on that is: excellent 5*, if you haven't started this series go buy The Warded Man right now and thank me later.

So, to the meat, which will shortly bring us full cycle to Chuck's well made points.

I was speaking to Peat shortly after the release of The Daylight War and we'd both been reading reviews on the book. As with every book ever published the range of reviews ran the whole gamut from toilet paper to holy tome of awesomeness. A quick check on Goodreads will show that the thousands to rate the book average on the awesome side of great.

A fair number of reviewers of any book point out things that didn't work for them. Some of them point these things out as if they were mistakes - as if there is a chance the author will on reading the review slap themselves soundly on the forehead and beseech the heavens, "If only I'd known!!"
... when in fact in the overwhelming majority of cases the offending aspect is a choice rather than a mistake. A choice that works for one person, and maybe doesn't for another.

The particular issue we talked about was pacing. A number of reviews picked out the pacing of the book as a failing in a 'what were you thinking' kind of way. As if Peat might be reading the review and suddenly (see diagram above) apply palm to forehead and say "OMFG! The pacing, I forgot all about that... what the hell was I thinking."

The complaint (far from universal) was that over the course of the book the actual progression of the foremost timeline is modest. [I have previously blogged on the issue of 'There is no NOW in storyland']. And additionally that the war on the demons makes only modest advances.

This takes us back to Chuck Wendig's point. In Peter Brett's five-book Demon Cycle there is a war between humans and demons. The demons are fascinating and we know little about them, gaining knowledge as we go. The reader wants (and I feel that desire as I read) to know about the demons. The reader wants to see the demons confronted, beaten, chased down into their world. The reader wants to meet the demon queen, learn the mysteries, the why and wherefore of it all...

The plain fact though is that we could have all that information spilled on us in 50 pages (10 probably) and we'd sit there holding the shards of the ruined story saying, 'Oh!' and realising far too late that we'd broken what we tried to reach for, like a baby trying to clutch the irridescence of a bubble.

(Fire Demon - by Luke Fielding)

Moreover - although the demons are fascinating... THE ARE NOT THE STORY. They are the pressure. The characters are the story and Brett puts them under pressure so we can see into them, so they can be exercised in front of us, so their story is driven on. And their story doesn't exist in any pretend 'now'. I'm learning about and enjoying the dynamics of these characters whether the things I'm being told about happened twenty years 'before' or 'right now' ... it's on the page in front of me - that's what matters. And the pace that really makes the difference to my enjoyment is the pace of the story about these people - not how rapidly the global conflict with demonkind is collapsed around me.

So that's the choice that Peat made here, not a mistake in pacing but a writing choice. It's a choice that like every important writing choice will work for some and not for others. It worked for me, it worked for a lot of people... check it out and see how it works for you.

Another truism of writing is that 'boss battles' are often anticlimactic. Even in video gaming boss battles often suck compared to the journey of reaching them. We think we want to see X confront Y and sort this out once and for all... but really, that's not the resolution we're looking for.

At the end of the day writing is a strip tease. The story could walk on and toss all its clothes on the floor in five seconds flat. you might think you want that - the story wants you to think you want that - but it's not going to give it to you because if it did you'd want your money back.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Holding up books for no reason.

Send me a photo of you holding up a book you like (cover forward) and I'll post it here.
( )

You are more than welcome to hold up books you've written.

The more books you hold up at once, the higher up the list I'll place you.


1) Books all face forward
2) Only one person holding
3) No photo shop
4) No solid supports (shelves, metal frame etc)

Competition closed - prizes awarded - entries still welcome.
Remember, quality counts as much as quantity. Want to show off your new book? Go for it.

("Little Girl" Jones wins a copy of Stone Goblins that I bought twice by mistake)
(Benjamin wins a fantasy book - for quantity - I'll send him a list of options!)
(Vivianne wins a Thorns mug - for pioneering the leg method and a great photo)

Benjamin (21! Who knew how deep the rabbit hole went?)

Jonathan (19 - some minus for overlap but kudos on the mouth hold!)

Elizabeth (18! The relaxed method - all the Fushigi Yugi volumes + artbook)

Vivianne (16, but so well displayed!)

Laura (again) (17 apparently - I can only recognise Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but given that my sources (Laura) tell me Laura is five foot nothing it's a fine effort! Ideally though we should see most of each book!)

[Rachel Vincent Stray, rogue, pride, prey, shift. - Sara Douglass Sinner - Pratchett interesting times, men at arms, maskerade, lords and ladies, hogfather reaper man. -  Paul Stewart & chris Riddell stormchaser, Raymond Feist Magician - Harry potter order of the pheonix & half blood prince -  amber spyglass philip pullman.]

John (with 14 examples of Beatrix Potter's work!)

Alice (Howl’s Moving Castle, Night Watch, Waylander, Making Money, Elidor, The Last Guardian, Prince of Thorns, The Truth, Witchfire, Forest Mage, Snuff, Stardust, Magician)

Bradley (Shadow's Edge, Way of Shadows, The Jordan Rules, Desert Spear, Stormdancer, Beyond The Shadows, If I Die In A Combat Zone, The Warded Man, Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, This Book Is Full Of Spiders, John Dies In The End, The Whore Of Akron)

Dom (Legend, The Painted Man, Magician, Empire In Black And Gold, The Lies Of Locke Lamora, The Way Of Kings, The Dwarves, A Memory Of Light, Malice, A Dance With Dragons)

Hilarycopter's tale - starting well on one leg... but then... DISASTER!

Laura (Retribution falls, Kill the Dead (sandman slim 2), Prince & King of Thorns, Amongst Thieves, and Last Argument of Kings)

"Little Girl" Jones and her Flat Stanley collection!

A Poker Player!

Roman (some fine looking titles!)

Nate (The Dream Oracle, King of Thorns, The Red Wolf Conspiracy, Progeny, Deadhouse Gates)

David (Malice, Rise of Empire, The Written, The Blade Itself, Prince of Thorns)

Wayne (Stephen King - 11.22.63, Stephen King - Full Dark No stars, Stephen King - under The Dome, James Herbert - The Secret Of Crickley Hall, Dean Koontz - Forever Odd )

Leigh (Prince of Thorns and ... friends)

Mark (whos complete works Sherlock Holmes holds 60 stories!)

Jenni (Golem in the Gears by Piers Anthony - started her interest in fantasy books)

Michael (all the way from counter-Earth! King of Thorns)

Kyle (Ghosts in the Yew)

Tom (with Hopeless, Maine + a fine mug + a very big spoon)!


Sunday 17 March 2013

Writing Fail

Writing Fial Fail

Before we start let's get one thing straight. This isn't an upbeat motivational piece about writing. I hate that shit. The can-do, write 1000 words a day, revise-revise-revise, and you will triumph mentality is the flipside of the coin that I'm trying to stamp on here.

Here's the thing.

You will notice this pyramid (in common with most others) is pointy.

Consider how little room there is to stand at the top. Consider if you and a bazillion other people all tried to go up it at once... my advice would be rather than obsessing about how much you might enjoy the view from the top it would be much better to decide just how much you enjoy climbing pyramids. If you think you'd get a buzz out of the climb, and that the view from pretty much any of the steps would be pretty cool... well then, go for it!

This rather over-stretched metaphor is my response to the many people (some I know quite well) who consider themselves writing failures because they only [enter your success here]. I've listened as fine writers self-flaggelate because they "only" managed [insert success story here]. And I'm sat there thinking... you wrote a frikken book! That's more than most people manage. Then you got an agent and sold the frikken book to a publisher... then you got paid and the book was on shelves from New York to London... and a good number of people gave this book all five sparkling stars and sang its praises... and here you are tearing chunks out of yourself because not _everyone_ loved it... because it 'only' sold thousands... because Writer X sold more, got talked about more, won some silly prize?

And let me stress - I am _not_ Mr Upbeat. I'm not Mr Positivity. I'm just a realist. You can't leap from one side of the Grand Canyon and beat yourself up for not reaching the other side. The leap's the thing!

You don't fail at writing. There's only win.

Failure's not an option. Not because of some macho WIN WIN WIN BS, but simply because it's not on the option list. When I sing in the shower failure isn't an option either, no matter how badly I sing!


People keep asking me for tips for aspiring writers. Is there even such a thing? Start typing... you're a writer. There's no aspiration required.

Or are they aspiring to be a New York Times bestseller? Hell, my advice then is: don't. It's like aspiring to win the lottery. Work hard, buy your ticket. Have fun with the show where the numbers are called. Move on.

I'm on that pyramid. There are people who have been a hundred times more successful than me. There are people who have been a hundred times less successful. I wouldn't count myself a failure at writing if I'd never done more than touch the first step.

For years I wrote for a shifting audience of five or ten people on a writing group. If that was all I ever did I would not have considered my time wasted, any more than I consider the time I spent blowing shit up on the Xbox wasted, or reading a book, or playing a game.

The biggest writing triumphs I've ever had were achieved long before I was published. I wrote things that when I read them back made me laugh and made me cry. Later I wrote things that made other people laugh or cry (in the right places even). That act of sharing, of putting the objects of my imagination into someone else's head with enough clarity and power to evoke strong emotion... that right there is the best writing will ever offer you. And doing it to ten people or ten thousand people is no more gratifying that doing it once - to one person - the first time.

So yes - my advice to aspiring writers could be and has been a check list of good practices, but the real advice is to do it because you enjoy it and to enjoy the hell out of it. And most of all:

i) Never let it be a chore.

ii) If you must measure your success... do it with metrics that actually matter.

iii) Forget about failing... it's not that sort of game.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Emperor of Thorns: the map

The map for Emperor of Thorns:

-tired of European-based fantasy settings? Hop on a boat and it's less than 15 miles to the shores of Africa!

Monday 11 March 2013

A new King of Thorns cover...

So... I should perhaps have counted to 1000 before blogging on this the first time :D

Here are my previously blogged thoughts about the business of translation.

& here is my Italian cover for King of Thorns. I was surprised to see a lightning-wreathed crossbow on it. A move that reflects the change of title to 'King of Lightning'.

Here's my quick shot at 'lightning effect' + original cover.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Raffling the Emperor of Thorns manuscript for charity

(The original proof copy of the Emperor of Thorns manuscript, complete with my corrections, signed & doodled)

So last year I auctioned the King of Thorns manuscript for charity. It sold for $400 and my daughter handed the check over to the Children's Hospices South West, a charity that runs a number of hospices for terminally ill and life-limited children.

(Celyn, during one of our stays at the hospice)

All good.

The only thing that bothered me was that readers who didn't have $400 but would like the manuscript and would like to help sick kids weren't able to take part.

So this year I've decided to try a raffle. You buy your raffle tickets by donating directly to the children's hospice charity. Each $ you give is one ticket (I'll do any necessary currency conversions). Email me the receipt they send you. If for any reason you can't donate via the website contact me on  and we can work something out.

[NOTE: The charity aren't involved in this. They just accept donations - you need to tell ME you've entered and how much you gave so I can allocate tickets to you.]

I'll do the draw in a public and random fashion on June 21st and send out the prize. (The book is out August 6th).

If the prize winner bought $20+ of tickets they'll also get the UK Prince of Thorns hardback signed 1st edition.

If the prize winner bought $40+ of tickets they'll also get the US King of Thorns hardback signed 1st edition.

If the prize winner bought $60+ of tickets they'll also get the pretty mug in the picture showing all three covers.

I'll keep a tally of the donations on this page with shout-outs/links for anyone who'd like one.

$3011 raised so far!        Feel good about it!

Contributors include:
(I encourage you to allow me to thank you here)
(links and attributions are my additions)

Kenny Soward (author of Rough Magic)
Nadine Kharabian (super-reader)
Steve Drew (Reddit Fantasy contributor)
John Darcy (super-reader)
Leigh Drusilla Lyle (many thanks!)
Halaku (reddit r/fantasy super-star)
Alex von der Linden (a name to conjure with! ... don't try ...seriously)
Brandon Zarzyczny (medalist in the national 'number of z's in your surname' competition)
Johann Pollard (fantasy book blogger extrordinaire)
Robin Carter (blogger, reviewer, owner of the King of Thorns manuscript!)
John Gregory Wynn (cheers mate!)
Hilary Treat (Best.Hilary.Ever.)
Rosco Schock (Fantasy Lover)
Luke Scull (author of The Grim Company)
Grace Link (many thanks!)
John Borbone ("No whammy, no whammy.")
Queen Katiemae (a royal gift!)
Alexis Vermonter (Baby blogger)
Mike Myers (just zis guy, you know?)
Mia C. (A Friendly Stalker)
Alice Leiper (aka Chilari)

Neverland's Library (kickstart this anthology!)
Andrew Menzies (interweb hero)
Garret Dillahunt (Fine Fellow!)
Fran Bamber (Frantastic)
Christie Jones (many thanks!)
Jared Shurin (Pornbot)
Joel P. (a star!)
Rich Welsh (Good man!)
Andrew Myers (top geezer)
Nathan Washor (true gentleman)
Jordon Smith (Hurrah!)
Joe Parrino (tweeter in good standing!)
Ray Lorenz (fine bloke!)
Bruno (the beard) Giordan
Mitriel (the mysterious!)
Marc Harris (travelmeister to the stars (also Africa))
Marc Tager (friend to the world (under construction))
Jeff Xilon  (salt of the earth)